I'd like to dedicate some attention to the fact that routines make our lives much easier and help us to develop healthy (can be unhhealty, it always depends) habbits that can benefit our life in a variety of ways.
First let me explain how I define routines for this post:
A routine is a certain activity you integrate in your daily life that to some extend gives you structure, security and joy.
I find it fascinating how simple it can be to trick yourself into a routine, although the beginning is quite hard. Let me elaborate:
When you think about it, all the time people tell you how vastly your life would improve through more activity. And it's true, I totally agree. But to get there, you might be overthinking. Becoming more active does not mean to get a gym membership, go there for two weeks and then slowly stop going but keep on paying. I've seen this in my own social cycle. But there is a better way. Integrate routines in your daily life that will keep you more active. In the end, it is the small things that can help you improve.
Here are a few tips on integrating routines in your daily life (also applicable in the office space):
- Use stairs. Depending on your apartment situation, your comute and your office structure, you will encounter stairs to some extend. While I agree, an elevator is pure gold when moving, they are n0t so good on your health. So, one routine could be, that whenever you have nothing to carry, you take the stairs. Either down or up. For example when you get your mail or going out for lunch. Although it willbe hard at first, you'll quickly figure out that it's not that hard and it could be even fun, when you see the first results.
- Use to-do lists. One of the simplest way to become more productive is to write down the things you got to do and work on them one by one. The best time for this, in your personal or professional life, is the evening before the next day. You think about all the things you got to do and rank them on a piece of paper (you might also use your phone). Then beginning the next day, you'll work at exactly those things and once your done with one, cross it off the list. You will immediately feel the rush of achievement and you continue. Sometimes it's hard to keep a schedule and you have to fight fire inbetween, but even though, write the things down that interfere and cross them of. Just try it, you'll know what I mean.
- Take the time for things you like doing. You surely heard quotes before that suggested you'll always will regret the things you haven't done. I found that to be very true, because sometimes you'll lose something or someone and wished you had done something differently. Please be aware of those moments. When you get the chance to spend time with your family, best friend or doing the thing you love, don't hesitate and take that chance. Take the time for yourself, do not stress over everything. Sometimes you got to relax. Deadline or to-do lists can be useful but shoulnd't rule your life.
- Dismiss unessential choices. Depending on your job description or private life you might be facing several important decisions within a day. As humans we only got so much energy to decide things, so that every little decision we don't have to make is valuable enegery for a more complex decision. This is a very universal advise that proofed valuable for my life and people like President Obama swear on this routine as well. You can read about it here:http://www.fastcompany.com/3026265/work-smart/always-wear-the-same-suit-obamas-presidential-productivity-secrets
- Try something new every once in a while. I love to keep ceratin days and times of my week completely free. This way I have time to try out new things or take the time for other stuff I always wanted to do, learn or understand. Playing an instrument, watching a movie you just haven't had the chance to see yet or take that online course you've always wanted to do. Keep you mind agile with learning new skills and gain new perspectives.
In general, routines are far away from being dull. Theycan even help you become more creative. They give you focus and help you becoming more efficient. Just watch yourself, when you plan your day ahead, decide on what to wear, what to eat and where to get that coffee in the morning, before you live it. Suddenly you'll have so much more time for yourself.
Let me know how it works out for you.
Thanks for reading!